President Ivan Gašparovič signed into law an amendment to the Criminal Code on March 18.
Parliament approved the revision last week. It was submitted by Justice Minister Štefan Harabin to prevent an alleged mafia boss, who has received a life sentence, from being released from custody pending appeal.
The amendment extends the maximum period of pre-trial detention from four to five years in exceptional cases. This should apply in instances concerning very severe crimes for which a jail term of 25 years or life may be given. Last week, 123 of 124 lawmakers voted in favour of the draft, the SITA wrote.
Prosecutor General Dobroslav Trnka admitted after the March 4 cabinet session that prolonging custody was the only way to prevent alleged mafia boss Robert O. from being released from prison after he appealed his life sentence, since he would have been in pre-trial custody for more than the maximum four years before his appeal was decided in court. SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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18. Mar 2009 at 15:00